States Of Acceptance, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:27am

I’m listening to my sprinklers run while my dishwasher sloshes and purrs. I’m thinking about this post, by the artist Patricia van Essche.

She wrote about acceptance and its impact on experience and art. Here’s the thing. I know of only two modes in which acceptance doesn’t feel like giving up. This may be a personal quirk, but so be it.

I can feel acceptance when sitting very, very still on a sofa. Or the edge of a city fountain. In those moments I accept that all that is happening is happening right then. Even right there. I take a breath. Breath is the most accepting act of all, we let air into our bodies.

Alternatively, I feel acceptance when I’m moving forward – with trust in the process of motion. This is different from moving towards a goal or vision, when, by definition, we are refusing to accept the current state of affairs. In that case we make an effort to get where we are going, rather than focus on what we’ve already learned how to do.

I’ll say it one more time, in bold, because I want to remember. Moving forward with trust in the process of motion. The motion can be our own particular process of thought, by the way, doesn’t have to be physical.

Paradoxically, the only way I know to come to trust a process of motion is practice. As dancers learn to trust the leap, and swimmers the hard pool edge. Practice, of course, means trying or intent.

So most of us will have to spend a long time trying, in order to finally marry struggle to surrender, and proceed in that state of acceptance. Otherwise known here and there as the state of grace.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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  • Oh, to be able to accomplish that pure state. Breath.

  • Thank-you. Just this morning on my early walk – again, I witnessed a nearby neighbor who was in a tragic accident who broke not one but both legs – and she is in a wheelchair…I thought to myself – again about acceptance. She had a smile. She had nice things to say. It touched my heart, her state of grace.

  • I needed this today. Thank you for your generous and beautiful words!

  • The hard part is when the motion and the outcome are so far apart. That’s where trust comes in. Thanks for a great post.

  • Had that yesterday! Must be the moon. Hardly explicable, felt like a mexican jumping bean inside. Was wreaking havoc on any radio close by. Who knew such jubilation could come in the form of a walking sun storm. Who knew! Great post :D

  • Such a great post. Being here… experiencing acceptance and that inner peace… state of grace. Wonderful way to start a day.. any day!!

    Thank you for a great post!


  • I feel peace and acceptance when I a can trust in myself and my surgeons that I am healing and I am getting stronger and stronger everyday.

    Art by Karena

  • I wonder how my MIL feels confined to her hospital bed…
    and wants to swing her legs over the side and take a walk.

    Not in her future any time soon.
    We are going to miss her at our table this Thanksgiving weekend.
    Lisa, your post is more relevant to me tonight than usual.

  • I get what you are saying but sometimes by not accepting something allows us to continue to fight. Even if that something will never change, it is in seeing ourselves as still whole that allows us to move forward. We see ourselves from the inside out rather than the other way around. Guess I’m just stubborn.

  • i have written out~to read every morn~as i have some major ‘motion’ in my life and this post spoke to my heart. thank you.

  • Now that I scroll through the comments, not having a clue, how I could possibly relate to your posting, all of a sudden last night’s dream comes to my mind. In my dream I did not want to accept something any longer and moved on, I ran away. Now I see how I can relate to your words!

  • I consider acceptance and meditation to be acts of life-long progressive practice and I accept I may not achieve perfection. Being mindful about the choice and potential consequences of acceptance is good enough for me and keeps me “practicing”. I also believe acceptance can be a spring-board to positive change and possible discovery of alternatives one may not have been able to see before and does not necessarily demonstrate weakness in surrender. Acceptance takes courage and can be quite liberating – even if it’s for just a wonderful momentary respite of peace at a fountain. Keep practicing! And I accept I will probably always enjoy your ponderings! Peace –

  • Lovely thoughts– both yours & the comments above. I think of acceptance as being alive in the moment– ready for whatever comes next. A simple approach to life. Easy in theory, difficult in practice.

  • What an extraordinarily well-timed and prescient post. It has saved me the effort of holding my breath at the bottom of a swimming pool. Please also post on how we know what to accept and against what to rail and kick. Then at last I think grace will arrive…

  • Happiness is acceptance.
    When I adopted this mantra, my life truly became less stressful. I accept that I am not perfect, my loved ones are not perfect, my finances are not perfect, my health is not perfect. Although I accept all of these circumstances, I still fight the good fight of being a mentally, financially, and physically fit woman. I just don’t punish myself (anymore) by not accepting imperfection. It’s a much more zen life – and I like that so much!

  • I was thinking about you yesterday, Lisa–about why I’m so interested in all that you have to say about life. And the word “grace” came to me. And then I read this post today and thought, “Yes, that’s it. That’s everything. And it’s why I think LPC is so wise.” Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.
    Some days I’m good at acceptance; others not so much. On the good days, I feel content and tranquil and I remember that the harder days are just moments of being in progress still (of course, further progress will allow me to know that even on the harder days, but I’m not quite there yet!).